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Arendal 1961 compared to…

Hi there, I’m currently saving up my money to purchase some new speakers and leaning towards the Arendal 1961 series. Towers, center, and bookshelves for the 5 base speakers in my 5.2.2 system. Just curious if anyone can share their thoughts on going from their old speakers to the 1961 series? What difference it made or what do you like about them? Just getting tired of people making fun of my current entry-level speakers(LOL).

My current system:
Anthem MRX1140
Emotiva BasX A5 (saving up to upgrade to their XPA-5 Gen 3)
Pioneer Andrew Jones (FS52, C22, BS22, T22A)
Dual SVS SB3000s

Bonus if you actually came from the Pioneer Andrew Jones speakers.

All replies (11)


I use the 1961 as surrounds and height speakers and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by them. For such small speakers they do produce full rich sound.

One thing that I would say is that 1961 towers would be much more powerful than the center speaker. A few other people have shared the same view on other forums, when compared to the towers the center channel was a bit behind. Going for monitors instead would mean your whole front stage would be much better matched.

However if you care a lot about stereo music towers would be a better call.

To be honest, whichever option you chose I’m quite sure you’ll be happy :)

Domagoj Kova
Community Member

Hi Humberto,

previously, I had only in-ceiling DLS speakers, something I got recommended in the store. Not sure about the exact model but the price range was around 300€ per speaker.

Then I got 1961 Bookshelfs and 1961 Sub 1S.

I was instantly blown away!

1961 Bookshelf is much louder, cristal clear, and I can hear so much more details on it. Sub is devastating the house. It is a special pleasure watching concerts with it, you have a feeling of being there.

I still use those DLS in the ceiling as a height/sorround, but I needed to increase the level on them to hear them  :)

I can imagine what a difference Towers would do :) Maybe in a year or two when kids grow a bit, it would be too dangerous at the moment, for speakers I mean :)

Thanks Marisumssj, I have heard that about the center channel and actually had considered going with a 1723 S center but it’s unfortunately too big for my space so the 1961 would be the only option for the center. I did price out stands for the monitors but by then it’s not that far from the towers, especially if I want some good-looking stands. I do listen to music now more often so towers may still be the way I go. Glad to hear though that it will be good either way.

Thanks Domagoj, when I’m watching movies and listening to music I do prefer it on the louder side so good to hear that even the bookshelf can output loud and clear.

LOL, yes kids can be some trouble for our “toys”.

Hello Humberto, if it were me I’d save up and get the XPA-5 GEN3 the reason is amplification. Not all receivers can handle the load of most speakers out there especially Arendal because of the 4Ohm loads they produce. The Andrew Jones speakers are great speakers but some may argue that they are not all that great because they are not fully amplifying them. Its the headroom in any HT that will make or break your speakers acoustics. For instance I’ve owned Klipsch speakers the RF-7ii and they needed a lot of power and a lot of room treatment in room, yeah it was a nightmare getting these tuned right. So its really up to the individual on what sounds good and what is needed to achieve great quality. Either way its a good choice 👍🏻

Thanks, OrionPax36, you’ve given me something to think about and what I could do is once I have enough for the amp I will get that first. Was thinking of getting the speakers first but I have heard similar suggestions for my current speakers as they are not as efficient as most. I was originally powering them with the Anthem by themselves and really only got the BasX A5 to dip my toes in amplification. Despite not being a very powerful amp I still noticed a difference in how they sounded. Appreciate the post.


I want to comment on the power amp aspect of things. Depending on your distance from the speakers for example if your listening position closer than 3m you would not be drawing more than 11W per speaker at reference level volume. Power wise receiver would be more than enough to power the speakers. The tonal difference and clarity is another subject all together.

David Rojas
Community Member

Here is my progession: Pioneer Andrew Jones > Polk Signature > Arendal 1961

Really, they shouldn’t even be compared in the same category. The Andrew Jones speakers are fine budget speakers in their own right, but if we’re talking about Arendal now, that’s a whole different world. Everything from power handling, clarity, speed and of course physical appearance of the speakers is going to be way better than what you have now. I enthusiastically recommend the 1961 series!

p.s. I would personally go with a high-quality class-D amp from Nord or Apollon (or Buckeye, if you’re in the US) for around the same price as an XPA-5, but that’s entirely personal preference.

Mariusmssj, it’s funny that you mention the amp power as I just had a similar conversation with someone else. I am currently about 2.5m from my seating position and with the BasX A5 I can reach peaks of 100dB with averages about 85db for movies. Music is about 90dB. This is causing me to debate which one to get first but will definitely keep your point in mind.

Bonus points to you Concentus7! Glad to hear from someone that had the same speakers and glad to hear that it will make a difference with jumping to the Arendals. Knowing the specs is one thing but hearing from someone that has been there definitely provides more weight.

Oh and thanks for the tip on the amp, I am in the US but had not heard of Buckeye amps. I will take a deeper look at those but just quickly looking at the specs they are pretty impressive and seem to provide more value than the Emotivas.

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